On the bright side

I received a phone call today from a friend of mine back in Chicago. An article appeared in today’s Daily Herald saying that Ellie’s old school is going to be placed on academic probation.

Surprise, surprise.

When only 40% of the students at a school pass the state test, you have to know that there are problems. Big ones.

At least Ellie’s new school shows so much more promise. I found out yesterday that they have a program called “Bank Day” where the kids can open a real savings account and add and subtract from it twice a month. All students take PE and Music every day, and Art is even more than once a week.

Ellie was out sick on Monday and Tuesday, but she is making friends anyway. We got to the third driveway past ours this morning before we heard someone behind us yelling, “Ellie! Ellie! Wait up!” Turns out that one of her classmates lives two doors down. So Ellie told me she didn’t need me to walk to school with her because she could go with her friends.

The nice thing is that we can see the door to the school that she enters from the window in the playroom at the top of the house. Somehow, between me returning home and the time she got to the back of the school, her group had grown to 7 kids or so. Some of those turned and went to the front of the school and Ellie and another girl went in the back (which we can see and that is closer to our house). So there doesn’t seem to be a shortage of kids with whom to become friends.

We had a meeting at school yesterday about Ellie’s speech IEP. They were working with her at the old school for a stutter that is pretty obvious when she’s nervous. So we needed to have a meeting to authorize the new school to continue services until they could evaluate her and decide if they think she needs them.

Anyway, the speech teacher told me that one boy in the speech class got into a rather heated debate about poison dart frogs with Ellie. She said she lost track of it after the two kids corrected the teacher’s assertion that “frogs are green.” (The teacher said she wasn’t sure what it was all about because it was too scientific for her. LOL!) Anyway, that seems like it will be a good relationship, even if it does tick Ellie off that she is no longer the only one who knows more about certain subjects than anyone else.

Overall, I think this is a good move for Ellie, school-wise. I’m pretty sure that Ellie will no longer stand out as the only advanced kid in the class. For some parents, that might be a bad thing. But from mine, it’s a blessing.

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